Our Fathers' Fields
A Southern Story
Compared by critics to the writings of Wendell Berry and James Agee, this richly detailed narrative brings to life such unforgettable characters as Squire William and his wife Catherine, the plantation's master and mistress during the turbulent Civil War era; their son Captain Dick, a Confederate soldier who served five terms in the state legislature; and their irascible grandson Frank, who labored desperately to keep the farm operating in the new century. Our Fathers' Fields offers an especially vivid portrayal of the antebellum South, a compelling collection of Civil War letters, and a poignant account of life after the war.
Interwoven with these absorbing life stories is the close examination of a plantation that grew from 204 to 2,035 acres and became one of the most valuable farms in the South. Kibler explores the natural history of the place, including its sophisticated formal gardens and its once staggering array of animals and native plants-many of which have all but vanished from Southern soil. Recounting his own efforts to recapture the plantation's former glory and the rewards of a life lived close to the land, Kibler concludes that only by knowing a place truly well—its past and its present—can we guard against its abuse.
About the Authors
"A superb book. It is nothing short of a tour de force It is charmingly written, astoundingly rich in detail, and absolutely fascinating reading. It reminds me, at various times, of Ben Robertson's Red Hills and Cotton, W. A. Percy's Lanterns on the Levee, some of James McBride Dabbs' autobiographical works, James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, and the best (that is to say, the least polemical) essays in I'll Take My Stand. I enjoyed it immensely."—Publishers Weekly
"Vivid reconstructions of farming practices, domestic tasks, and what the Civil War did to antebellum life give context to meticulously researched details about specific topics, ranging from the plasterwork found inside the house to the plants in the formal gardens outside. Overarching the factual material are the stories of the family members, who are brought vividly to life here."—Brad Hooper, Booklist
Other Titles by James Everett Jr. Kibler
Other Titles by James E. Kibler, Jr.
Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / State & Local / General